Comment moderators sought

DMZ · September 29, 2007 at 11:12 am · Filed Under Site information 

Hi all — Dave and I are increasingly falling behind in comment moderation. So we’re considering deputizing, to the point where we’d take help if it’s available. We’d like to have kept on top of it, but we can’t, and it’s pretty clear it’s eating into our available posting time, the quality of comment discussion, and it’s increasingly frustrating for the two of us to try and keep up with, which in turn shows with our curtness and short tempers… and only the trolls win if we’re constantly on edge and angry.


If you’re at all interested in the glamorous, exciting world of helping us keep the discussion worthwhile, please let us know.

Bonus points for:
– length of USSM association
– attended USSM feeds
– previous comment contributions
– other endorsements that assure us you’re not going to go insane with power
– knowing why comments that start “off-topic, but” get jumped on and how
– having lots of time on your hands

There’s no pay, but that’s okay, because the hours are terrible. In the future if USSM has a remotely positive income, we’d discuss that, but it’s not. Right now, all we offer is gratitude and what will likely be a horrifying look at what the comments that get deleted look like and the abuse we take for deleting them.

I have no idea how we’d do a selection process if we get multiple responses.

If there are comment rating plugins you’d like to suggest, you can email us about those, too.


32 Responses to “Comment moderators sought”

  1. smb on September 29th, 2007 1:43 pm

    I nominate msb, for apparent evenhandedness, consistent frequency and quality of posts, and general thoughtfulness.

  2. AK4Sea on September 29th, 2007 1:50 pm

    I would be more-than-happy to hijack threads and misspell the names of Mariners personnel to give any future mods experience.

    No, really, it’s cool. I’m just that great of a guy. 😀

  3. Rusty on September 29th, 2007 2:51 pm

    This is a good idea, guys. A step in the right direction. Obviously there have been many good comment participants through the years. Hopefully a few of the more trusted ones will step forward for this.

  4. Typical Idiot Fan on September 29th, 2007 3:07 pm

    Unfortunately my time is limited or I’d volunteer for the role of Mod Nazi. Been a Mod on several forums before and know how to deal with the trolls.

  5. Thom Jimsen on September 29th, 2007 3:15 pm

    My time is limited, too, but I’m willing to help.

    I second msb’s nomination, though.

  6. The Ancient Mariner on September 29th, 2007 3:35 pm

    I agree msb would make sense; and I ditto Jim and TIF. It might not be a bad idea to have several folks doing it.

  7. DMZ on September 29th, 2007 3:55 pm

    It’s a self-nomination process, folks, much as I’m sure msb might appreciate the thought.

  8. HamNasty on September 29th, 2007 4:00 pm

    I agree with the nomination style amongst all the regulars. Have them put their names up if they want to do it and the rest of the USSM frequenters can chime in. If MSB and Jim are up for it they would be good people for the job.

  9. DMZ on September 29th, 2007 4:03 pm


  10. DMZ on September 29th, 2007 4:18 pm

    That sounds too abrupt, so here — giving anyone mod access, the way WordPress works, is a substantial commitment to trusting someone with site admin tools even beyond the enormous risk of giving them access to destroy the huge backlog of comments.

    So we’re not willing to concede the decision to others, especially in this first stage.

  11. Evan on September 29th, 2007 4:39 pm

    Derek’s right. Giving us any sort of say would be absurd.

    That said, I certainly don’t want the job.

  12. gwangung on September 29th, 2007 5:04 pm

    So we’re not willing to concede the decision to others, especially in this first stage.

    Hm. Never thought that…any kind of input the regulars would give would have been advisory only..

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t necessarily take any theatre advice from any of you folks (with the possible exception of gomez) so….

  13. DMZ on September 29th, 2007 5:23 pm

    We get that you’re in “theatre”.

  14. DoesntCompute on September 29th, 2007 6:00 pm

    I would love to help but with school, work, and 3 kids, I’m not sure how much I would be on to do the job.

  15. msb on September 29th, 2007 6:01 pm

    trusting someone with site admin tools


    of course, I have no idea how one would actually go about moderating comments, or if I could refrain from going off-topic myself, let alone get all pissy and start smacking heads together … I do seem to check in here frequently, though. A lot.

  16. befara on September 29th, 2007 6:55 pm

    I think you need to leverage the community at large to moderate. This is exactly why a rating, or flagging system is used on many blogs. If a post is flagged by enough users it disappears. Conversely, if a post receives a lot of high ratings or thumbs-up votes, it would rise to the top if a user chooses to view posts that way. Use the power of the community!

    I wish I could recommend an appropriate ratings plugin but having looked through the WordPress codebase I’m no fan of the application, and unfortunately not familiar with what’s out there.

  17. msb on September 29th, 2007 7:26 pm

    it’s not exciting or glamorous, but there is a game on.

    unless I’m the only person not watching the Huskies.

  18. jlc on September 29th, 2007 7:29 pm

    Batista going for 16. That’s heady territory for him.

  19. thefin190 on September 29th, 2007 7:31 pm

    Speaking of which, is there going to be a game thread?

  20. George_Argyros_Lives on September 29th, 2007 7:49 pm

    As far as the game thread goes, I think this is it.

  21. thefin190 on September 29th, 2007 8:19 pm

    Wow, not a whole lot of chatter. I’ll set up a few ice breakers to set up conversation.

    [no, you won’t]

  22. HamNasty on September 29th, 2007 8:25 pm

    DMZ- About my comment in 8, I didn’t mean you had to listen to us. I was just thinking it was a good idea to keep doing what posters had done already which was nominate themselves and people would talk about it. I have a networking back round so I know the feeling of trusting others with your gear/information. It is your call obviously but a way for you to get candidates is to have us talk about it.

  23. DMZ on September 29th, 2007 9:51 pm

    I totally understand, and I sympathize. If there were a way to nominate, authorize, and track moderators easily, I’d be all over it. But there’s no way to do that yet… so we are where we are.

  24. msb on September 29th, 2007 10:01 pm

    if it doesn’t involve a big-brained machine or arcane knowledge beyond “don’t delete all the comments” I can blue-pencil now & then

  25. thefin190 on September 30th, 2007 12:00 am

    Sorry about the whole icebreaker thing, didn’t know that wasn’t allowed.

  26. PositivePaul on September 30th, 2007 12:46 am

    Hmmm. Penance for Corco???

  27. marinerschas2 on September 30th, 2007 1:28 am

    Corco? moderating while drunk? I thought we we’re trying to improve this site

  28. smb on September 30th, 2007 3:18 am

    I’ve been mod in a forum before (not Web 2.0)…but the subject matter in that case lent itself to wanton displays of bipolarity and alcohol-fueled ribaldry, so it was a good fit. The number one criterion for effective moderation is being around all the time. Second would have to be not drinking (too much…or at the least, NO JAEGER).

    If it’s a volunteer, then the weighted criteria already set forth in DMZ’s post is excellent. Without getting too New Age on you all, the best mods are ones who find the perfect balance between the stream of consciousness that is popular comment posting and the stated intent and consistent judgments previously demonstrated by the site administrators, while always erring on the side of comment-deletion in borderline cases.

    I would deign to nominate myself, but I fear I would replace legit comments from regulars with such gems as “NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNTIL LINCOLN AND ARMSTRONG ARE GONE.” And I wouldn’t stop, either, because I would be right.

  29. terry on September 30th, 2007 5:34 am

    Wow, not a whole lot of chatter. I’ll set up a few ice breakers to set up conversation.

    [no, you won’t]

    I’m sorry but you can’t get more for your entertainment dollar than this…. 🙂

    I’d like to suggest one other criteria to consider….. the new mod must also demonstrate a flare for snarky humor between the […]

  30. scraps on September 30th, 2007 12:55 pm

    I doubt that I have any suggestions to make that you haven’t already considered. But just in case: Have you considered shutting down comments on the weblog and setting up a forum instead — that is, continuing to make posts here, but having the resulting conversation in a forum dedicated for that purpose? It would have the advantage of not having to give comment moderators any access to weblog admin. You could even set it up with a Slashdot-style community moderation system. It might save a lot of effort in the long run.

    If it’s a really stupid idea, I apologize.

  31. mrmitra on September 30th, 2007 10:47 pm

    I have been following this site ever since imploded. I do not post much mostly because my baseball knowledge is dwarfed by just about every other regular poster here. However, I think this would be benefitial, because I have no personal bias when it comes to the members here. No one could accuse me of playing favorites or anything of that sort because of this.

    I am online quite often. I am a student and I take two online classes and another one of my lecture classes has a fair amount of online content. So when I feel like taking a break, which is like once every 5 minutes, I would be able to check the comments. As a computer science major, I like to pretend I know alot about computers and I should be able to figure out how to use the wordpress tools.

    As far as the trustworthyness goes, I am an Eagle Scout and I still live by the same morals. I actually live in NC so if you wanted to go as far as setting up a formal interview I live an hour away from Winston Salem.

    Thank you for considering me and let me know if you would like any more information.

  32. davepaisley on October 1st, 2007 4:17 pm

    29 – “demonstrate a flare”

    ITYM “flair”.

    Although sometimes it would be handy to have a semi-explosive red flamey thing to drop all over a comment.

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